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Fuller SW

CH504: Spring 2011






DESCRIPTION: This course introduces the more important themes and events in the life of the church around the world from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. Beginning with the post-Reformation period, students will examine the growth and contributions of the church in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia and Oceana. Attention will be given to some of the more important historical, theological, and cultural developments that have shaped (or been shaped by) specific regional and global historical contexts.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: The effective practice of Christian ministry requires an understanding of the important historical and theological developments that occurred between the onset of the post-Reformation era and the end of the second millennium. This period saw an unprecedented rise of new—and often complex—ideas and movements that influenced the history of the church and society as a whole. It is essential that those preparing for leadership in ministry become familiar with these historical and theological developments and understand their wide-ranging influence on the modern church and culture.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will be able to (1) identify and explain principal theological developments and historical events and personalities that have shaped the modern church; (2) think critically about historical texts and arguments, placing them in context; (3) interpret a variety of ecclesial traditions and experiences, including their own, with critical awareness and reflection; (4) critically assess their religious and cultural assumptions by examining the complexity and diversity of modem Christian history; (5) gain an appreciation for the multiplicity of ways in which the Christian faith is experienced and expressed in various parts of the world.


COURSE FORMAT: The course will meet on Thursday evenings between 6.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. for ten weeks, for a total of 35 hours. Class time will be devoted to formal lectures, questions and answers, and informal classroom discussion.


REQUIRED READING: (Minimum of 1,200 pages, excluding handouts)

Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2007. 336 pages. ISBN: 0195183078. $10.17.

Miller, Glen. The Modern Church: From the Dawn of the Reformation to the Eve of the Third Millennium. Abingdon, 1997. 312 pages. ISBN: 0687006058. $24.30.

Noll, Mark. The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith. InterVarsity Press, 2009. 212 pages. ISBN: 0830828470. $16.50.

Course Handouts (on Moodle).


Any one (or more) book(s) to be read from the following list (student’s choice):

Latin America:

Cook, Guillermo, ed. New Face of the Church in Latin America: Between Tradition and Change. Orbis, 1994. 289 pages. ISBN: 0883449370. Out of Print.

Dussel, Enrique, ed. The Church in Latin America, 1492-1992. Orbis, 1992. 512 pages. ISBN: 0883448203. Out of Print.

González, Ondina, and Justo González. Christianity in Latin America: A History. Cambridge University Press, 2007. 344 pages. ISBN: 0521681926. $19.49.

Goodpasture, H. McKennie. Cross and Sword. Wipf & Stock, 1999. 338 pages. ISBN: 1579104460. $25.87.

Gutiérez, Benjamin, and Dennis Smith, eds. In the Power of the Spirit: The Pentecostal Challenge to Historic Churches in Latin America. Presbyterian Church USA, 1996. 246 pages. ISBN: 1879535138. Out of Print.

Martin, David. Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Blackwell, 1993. 366 pages. ISBN: 0631189145. $35.69.

OR Africa:

Gifford, Paul. African Christianity: Its Public Role. Indiana, 1998. 384 pages. ISBN: 0253212047. $20.66.

Hanciles, Jehu. Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration and the Transformation of the West. Orbis, 2008. 430 pages. ISBN: 1570757909. $23.10.

Hastings, Adrian. The Church in Africa, 1450-1950. Oxford, 1996. 720 pages. ISBN: 0198263999. $89.50.

Isichei, Elizabeth. A History of Christianity in Africa. Eerdmans, 1995. 436 pages. ISBN: 0802808431. $24.36.

Pobee, John, and Gabriel Ositelu, African Initiatives in Christianity: The Growth, Gifts and Diversities of Indigenous African Churches—A Challenge to the Ecumenical Movement. Risk/WCC Publications, 1998. 73 pp. ISBN: 1570757909. $23.10.

Sanneh, Lamin. West African Christianity: The Religious Impact. Orbis, 1983. 286 pages. ISBN: 0883447031. Out of Print.


OR Asia/Australia:

Aikman, David. Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power. Regnery, 2006. 418 pages. ISBN: 1596980257. $11.53.

Bays, Daniel ed. Christianity in China: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Stanford University Press, 1999. 508 pages. ISBN: 0804736510. $28.48.

Clark, Donald. Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience, 1900-1950. Eastbridge, 2003. 455 pages. ISBN: 1891936115. $29.95.

Covell, Ralph. The Liberating Gospel in China: The Christian Faith among China’s Minority Peoples. Baker, 1995. 318 pages. ISBN: 0801025958. Out of Print.

Fernando, Leonard, and G. Gispert-Sauch. Christianity in India: Two Thousand Years of Faith. Penguin/Viking, 2004. 336 pages. ISBN: 067005769X. $16.20.

Hunter, Alan, and Kim-Kwong Chan. Protestantism in Contemporary China. Cambridge, 2007. 316 pages. ISBN: 0521046912. $54.02.

Kang, Wi Jo. Christ and Caesar in Modern Korea: A History of Christianity and Politics. SUNY, 2007. 214 pages. ISBN: 9780791432488.

Lambert, Tony. The Resurrection of the Chinese Church. OMF/Harold Shaw, 1994. 353 pages. ISBN: 0877887284. Out of Print.

Moffett, Samuel. A History of Christianity in Asia: Beginnings to 1500. Orbis, 1998. 560 pages. ISBN: 1570751625. $26.40.

_________. A History of Christianity in Asia: 1500-1900. Orbis, 2005. 742 pages. ISBN: 1570757011. $29.20.

Piggin, Stuart. Evangelical Christianity in Australia: Spirit, Word and World. Oxford, 1996. 304 pages. ISBN: 0195535383. Out of Print.



1.     Regular attendance and active class participation is required (10%).

2.     Completion of required readings (10%). (A Reading Log will be completed by each student.)

3.     Two 5-page research papers (15% x 2 = 30%).

4.     Mid-term examination (25%).

5.     Final examination (25%).




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Church History “C” (CHC). Seminary core requirement (SCR) for MATM, MAICS, MAFS, MACL, and MAT requirement (effective Winter 2010).